Women avoid borrowing more than men - report

Whereas the difference is negligible, women tend to be more cautious while borrowing than men. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • The findings are contained in a 78-page report compiled by Bank of Uganda in collaboration with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

Women are slightly cautious than men when it comes to unnecessary borrowing, according to the Financial Capability Survey. 

However, the survey indicates women are less effective when it comes to timely paying of bills compared to men . 

The findings are contained in a 78-page report compiled by Bank of Uganda in collaboration with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

The contents of the report, which were compiled during the period ended December 2020 and published on April 13, highlight a number of key financial parameters, among which include household incomes, insurance uptake, saving and financial management, among others. 

At least 3,338 households in rural and urban areas, which is representative of 22.8 million working adult Ugandans between 16 years and above, were interviewed.

According to the report, 98.7 percent of women will avoid unnecessary borrowing when faced with a shortfall compared to 98 percent of men. 

Overall, the report notes that 98.5 percent of adults in Uganda will avoid unnecessary borrowing. 

Dr Susan Kavuma, an economist from the Makerere University School of Economics, yesterday said that whereas the difference is negligible, the fear of unnecessary borrowing might be resulting from the fact that women are risk averse, while others don’t have the required collateral. 

Additionally, she said, many women in Uganda have not attained a certain level of bankable projects required by banks to advance loans. 

The survey, which is the second edition in the bid to shape appropriate policies by understanding the financial capability of Ugandans, sought to find out how working adult Ugandans use borrowed money, how many are active savers, how many can trace their finances, how they achieve financial goals and what good budgeting practices they use. 

Other parameters were how many working adults will avoid borrowing, make considered purchases and make timely payment of bills, among others.

The report found that generally working Ugandans are poor at timely payment of bills with the survey noting that only 28.5 percent of working Ugandans pay their bills on time.  

However, men scored relatively better in terms of timely payment of bills compared to women. 

More than 31 percent of male working Ugandans, the report indicate, pay their bills on time compared to about 25 percent of women. 

The disparities are also spread to other segments under financial management.  

For instance, the report indicates that 65 percent of working men strive to achieve set financial goals compared to about 54 percent of women. 

The report also notes that 63 percent of men budget for their incomes and expenses compared to 55 percent of women, while about 68.5 percent of men keep track of their finances compared to 65.5 percent of women.

Dr Maggie Kigozi, the Makerere University Endowment Fund chairperson and director in Crown Beverage, said the disparities in financial management might be explained by the fact that a number of women lack sufficient financial literacy.